Northeast wins ‘Mud Bowl’

Published 2:31 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MERRY HILL – There’s one every year.

The 2011 Mud Bowl took place at Lawrence Academy Monday night where the visiting Eagles outlasted the Warriors 32-8.

Shortly after taking a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, Northeast forced a Lawrence fumble and Justin Williford recovered the loose pigskin.

The Eagles wasted precious little time capitalizing on the turnover. Bo Daniel had the 27-yard run to paydirt and added the two-point conversion as Northeast took a 14-0 lead with 4:50 to play in the first quarter.

Lawrence countered with a drive that took the ball from their own 41-yard line to the Northeast 32, but Michael Cooper stopped the threat when he picked off a Lawrence pass.

Northeast mounted another scoring drive, taking the ball 69 yards to paydirt. Ryan Williams capped the drive with a 23-yard run. The conversion failed, but the Eagles led 20-0 with 8:53 remaining in the second period.

For the rest of the first half it was turnovers that dominated the landscape of the game as the field got progressively worse.

After a Lawrence punt, Northeast took over on their own 31-yard line, but Jesse White picked off a pass on second down to give the Warriors possession.

The Warriors then turned the ball over on downs, but Northeast fumbled the pigskin and Lawrence’s Zach Eubanks recovered.

The Warriors used a 19-yard pass play from White to Nathaniel Holton to get the ball to the seven-yard line, but a sack ended not only the drive but the first half.

Northeast came out in the second half and continued to move the football as they had in the first.

Daniel picked up six yards on three straight carries and moved the ball to the 41-yardline. Eagles mentor Stevie Flythe decided to gamble on fourth down and it paid off when quarterback Brad Johnson connected with Adam Creech to pick up 11 yards and a first down.

Three plays later Johnson found a hole in the defense and went in from 44 yards out. The conversion failed, but Northeast had taken a 26-0 lead with 8:58 still to play in the third quarter.

Lawrence then put together their best drive of the night thanks in part to a pair of Northeast miscues.

Lawrence drove to the Northeast 25-yard line, but a bad snap on third down forced them all the way back to the 39-yardline. Lawrence first-year football boss Beau Drake decided to punt it away.

The punt, however, hit a Northeast player and Lawrence recovered it at the 22-yardline.

Lawrence struggled from that point, however, and came up short on fourth down until a penalty against the Eagles gave the Warriors a first down at the 11-yardline.

Two plays later, Luke Leary scored on a 10-yard run and White added the two-point conversion as Lawrence closed the gap to 26-8 with 2:25 to play in the third quarter.

After forcing a Northeast punt, Lawrence was on the move again driving to the Eagles 30-yardline, but Cooper picked off a pass and returned it 86 yards for a score. The conversion failed, but Northeast led 32-8 with 5:29 to play.

That was enough to give the Eagles the victory as they improved to 2-3 this season while the Warriors dropped to 0-5.

Both teams will be at home this week. Northeast will host Rocky Mount Academy while Lawrence welcomes Halifax Academy.